The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described the lingering industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a threat to the 2019 general election.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, raised the alarm Thursday at a one-day workshop on Gender Sensitive Reporting of Elections, held in Abuja.
He noted that over 70 per cent of the ad hoc staff required for the elections was drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions.
Okoye stated: “The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will no doubt have serious impact on the preparations for the conduct of the 2019 elections.
“It is therefore important that students of federal tertiary institutions should and must be in school at least a month before the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections. They are one critical resource and their absence will have adverse effects on the ad hoc staff requirement of the Independent National Electoral Commission :INEC).”
Also, the INEC Deputy Director on Gender, Mrs. Blessing Obidegwu, said that the purpose of the workshop was to ensure gender mainstreaming in political reportage, lamenting that while the political space keeps shutting out women, the media should endeavour to open up itself to women in politics.